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With the many changes the Pittsburgh Pirates have undergone throughout the offseason, I’ve been thinking recently about what the future holds for the team and prospects that have yet to reach the major leagues.
We all know about Austin Meadows
and Mitch Keller
, the Pirates top outfield and pitching prospect, respectively. Both are highly regarded as two of the top prospects in all of baseball and should make an impact in the major sometime this season. But what about some of the Pirates middle infield prospects? This is where the organization has a ton of depth, especially at the shortstop position.
Of course, the position is in good hands with Jordy Mercer
serving as the undisputed starter heading into the 2018 season, but he very well could be succeeded by one of a few quality options.
, a first round draft pick in 2014, is one of the Pirates top shortstop prospects, while Kevin Newman
, a 2015 first rounder, is another.
Quite frankly, this is a good problem for the organization to have especially with Mercer possibly reaching the end of his career with the Pirates. Newman is 24 years old and will likely start at AAA Indianapolis this season, while Tucker is only 21 and will begin this year at AA Altoona.
Newman, who starred at the University of Arizona, is farther along than Tucker and could even arrive in Pittsburgh as early as this year, giving him an opportunity to learn from Mercer before possibly taking over for the veteran shortstop in the near future. Or the Pirates could decide to move Newman and Tucker to other positions, solidifying multiple positions in their infield.
Whatever the case may be, Mercer is an unrestricted free agent next year and odds are the Pirates may not resign him. But rest assured that both Newman and Tucker look promising and could possibly find themselves becoming staples in the middle infield for years to come.
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